Dear fantasy basketball fans, welcome to the EuroCup Fantasy Challenge! That's right, the game you loved so much over the last 17 seasons in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague is finally opening for business in the 7DAYS EuroCup! It will be just as exciting as the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge, and it will also have prizes for all round winners, and a big baskeball package for the overall winner. The Regular Season winner gets a EuroCup official Spalding basketball, a voucher for 1,000 EUR to spend on Turkish Airlines airfare, as many as three EuroCup Jersey of the winner’s choice, and a EuroLeague TV Subscription for the 2022-23 Season. It is a game, but it is also a contest in which you could be the next winner - all teams start from scratch, after all!
There will be as many as 10 players per team, and a head coach that should make the difference in each round's standings. Your coach will can have a negative score of -20 if his team loses by more than 20 but on the othe hand, it will score 25 points if his team wins by more than 20 points. That 45-point swing will be very important going forward, in every round.
The starting five, the sixth man and the coach are counted with 100% of their points, while the players on the bench get 50%. As in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge, the team captain's score is worth double. Three trades will be allowed between rounds and yes, you can change the coach without losing any of those three trades. At the end of a game night, you can modify your lineup, naming a different captain if your previous choice has not played yet. Or, you can promote a bench player on Friday, before the games, to the starting lineup. That can be done when the first night of games in one round is over, but the second night has not started, so be smart!
There are different lineups to use, which is also an interesting change, choosing how many guards, forwards and centers you want in it - never more than 3 per category, however, so picking the right players instead of having to worry about positions. Initially, each Fantasy Challenge team has 100 credits to purchase 10 players by position – four forwards, four guards, and two centers – plus the head coach.
And now that the most important rules are out there - the rest can be found HERE - let's put a team together. There are some bargains in the game and t is time to get them before their prices go up! That should allow me to get some of the biggest stars in the competition. Without further ado, here in my first lineup - by the way, my team is called Sevilla Siesta and I have a 2-2-1 lineup before Round 1.
Jaka Blazic, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana (14.2 credits).- He led last season in PIR and I expect him to be one of the contenders to do so again. Experienced, aggressive and versatile, Blazic is a perfect fantasy player. Making him team captain.
Kevin Punter, Partizan NIS Belgrade (11.8 credits).- After making it to the Final Four with AX Armani Exchange Milan last season, Punter is set to bring out his best version, playing for Partizan and the legendary Zeljko Obradovic.
Victor Claver, Valencia Basket (10.1 credits).- Claver is expected to play a key veteran role for Valencia, which currently has a lot of injury problems. Points, rebounds and steals should give Claver a good score in Round 1.
Vince Hunter, Boulogne Metropolitans 92 (12.8 credits).- Hunter was the 2020-21 Top 16 MVP playing for Virtus Segafredo Bologna. He doesn't need to score a lot to get a really high PIR and I like this a lot. A really solid choice.
Bojan Dubljevic, Valencia Basket (15.5 credits).- Dubljevic is a two-time champion and the competition's top scorer and rebounder. I expect him to show everyone who's boss the minute he returns to the EuroCup.
Cristiano Felicio, ratiopharm Ulm (9.3 credits).- My sixth man is Felicio, an outstanding rebounder who knows how to use his body in the paint to score. Rebounds and close baskets. You cannot go wrong with that in this game.
Tadas Vaiciunas, Lietkabelis Panevezys (4.0 credits).- Vaiciunas is one of the cheapest players in the Fantasy Challenge this season but is in his team's rotation. It is a gamble, and we will find out about its outcome very soon.
Luka Rupnik, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana (6.1 credits).- An exciting player who should see more playing time this season. Rupnik is a very creative point guard who can find his own shots and especially, generate for others.
Vladislav Emchenko, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar (4.0 credits).- Lokomotiv has some exciting young players and Emchenko is one of them. He started and played 25 minutes in the VTB League's season opener. All for just 4.0 credits!
Miralem Halilovic, Boulogne Metropolitans 92 (6.9 credits).- I know, I already picked a Metropolitans center, why another one? Halilovic was one of the best players in French basketball two years ago, and he should bounce back.
That's all I have before Round 1. Remember that you have unlimited trades before Round 1, and that you can shuffle your team between Tuesday night after the games, and Wednesday afternoon right before the games. The EuroCup Fantasy Challenge is here to stay, so make sure you do your best, compete against your friends in private leagues, and try to be our first winner!